Secret Service Employee Arrested in Teen Sexting Bust
An employee working in the White House allegedly sought to have sex with a 14-year-old girl who was actually an undercover cop.
A Secret Service employee has been arrested for allegedly sending lewd photos to a police officer posing as a teenage girl and propositioning her for sex.
Lee Robert Moore, 37, turned himself in to police on Monday, the same day a criminal complaint was filed against him for allegedly corresponding with a Delaware State Police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.
Moore is currently being held in state custody in Delaware, Kim Reeves, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware, told The Daily Beast. She said a court date is expected next week but hasn’t been set.
Moore worked in the White House and, as first reported by CNN, allegedly sent lewd photographs of himself, requesting sexual contact, and meetups with the agent posing as a minor.
“What would make you more nervous: Riding on a motorcycle with me or having sex with me?” one of the texts allegedly read. “I would take immense pleasure in pulling those shorts off your hips and down your cute little legs,” read another.
Police say Moore also instructed the “underage girl” on how to masturbate.
“I’m imagining you on your knees in front of me with your hand wrapped around it, staring at it, and looking up at me, and then putting it in your mouth,” he wrote before asking for a photograph of herself nude from the waist down.
Moore admitted, according to police, that some of the communications happened while he was on-duty at the executive mansion. In one chat session, Moore said “work sucks today” and informed the undercover officer that he was “sitting at box office style booth checking ID’s for entrance into a building.”
According to the criminal complaint, Moore admitted taking a photo “depicting exposed, erect penis” and sending it to the cop thinking he was a girl. Moore also allegedly admitted that he used “Meet24,” a hookup app, to communicate with people he thought were teenage girls.
In early October, Moore claimed he would be “overseas” for several weeks and had to cease communications. Upon returning two weeks later, Moore sent the undercover cop a shirtless photograph of himself. Nine days later, the Secret Service confiscated his badge and gun. That same day, Moore messaged the undercover officer, saying, “I don’t think we should talk anymore. I can’t explain, but I have too much going on, and I need to pull away from talking to people online altogether. This will be my last message. I’m sorry.”
“The Secret Service takes allegations of potential criminal activity extremely seriously,” Nicole Mainor, a Secret Service spokesperson, said in a statement. “All Secret Service issued equipment was retrieved and the employee’s access to all Secret Service facilities was terminated.”
Moore is married and has at least one child, according to public records and social media.
This is the latest scandal involving the Secret Service. In 2012, 13 agents traveling with President Obama were caught up in an international scandal following a booze-soaked romp through Cartagena, Colombia, in which some of the men hired prostitutes and took them back to their hotel rooms. Prostitution is not illegal in Colombia, but the scandal revealed a culture of womanizing and adultery among some agents, captured by an unofficial Secret Service slogan: “wheels up, rings off.” Two years later, agents in the president’s elite team were caught boozing and partying in Amsterdam.
Moore is a uniformed officer, and not an agent. But uniformed Secret Service members have also come under criticism in recent years when shots were fired at the White House, in 2011, and when people have scaled the White House fence. And twice this year, two people have flown small drones near or onto White House grounds.
The uniformed division provides physical security at the White House, as well as the vice president’s residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory. The division also helps to secure events featuring visiting dignitaries and runs a team of bomb-sniffing dogs.
There’s an unspoken hierarchy among agents and officers, with officers generally being seen as somehow subordinate to their non-uniformed colleagues. But as recent scandals have shown, the Secret Service is an equal-opportunity offender.
—Shane Harris, Tim Mak, and Gideon Resnick contributed reporting.